Headlines: Aug. 11, 2022

· The Pulse
By and
  • After hearing dozens of people speaking for and against the proposed Prairie Sky Gondola, executive committee pushed the decision on whether to approve a land agreement with the developers to next week's city council meeting. The company has agreed to pay about $1.1 million annually to lease public property for the project, saying it would be 100% privately funded, not integrated with ETS, and meant to be running by 2026. Many questions were raised about whether the development would disturb the burial grounds on the Rossdale flats and what would happen if remains were discovered during construction. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi told Postmedia he couldn't support the gondola without certainty that the burial sites would remain undisturbed, given the city's commitment to reconciliation. Coun. Aaron Paquette also questioned whether Prairie Sky was committed to consulting with Indigenous communities or just determined to "get to 'yes'."
  • TransEd says construction on the Valley Line Southeast LRT line has been delayed once again, this time indefinitely, due to cracks discovered in more than one-third of the track's support piers. "On behalf of TransEd, I want to say how disappointed we all are, and that we deeply regret the inconvenience this unfortunate and regretful delay may bring to Edmontonians," said CEO Ronald Joncas. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said he wants the city to review the management of public-private partnerships. "TransEd, as a public-private partnership, has not delivered this project as expected," he said. "They are responsible for all the cost overruns if there are any (...) but that is no consolation to people who have been waiting for this LRT for 30 years." City manager Andre Corbould confirmed that TransEd is responsible for the costs, and said information about the timing of repairs and service commencement "will be shared as it becomes available in the coming weeks."
  • Ben Stelter, a boy with glioblastoma who became part of the collective rallying cry for the Oilers during their Stanley Cup playoff run, has passed away at the age of six. "We are mourning the passing of our dear friend, number one Oilers fan, good luck charm & inspiration, Ben Stelter," the Edmonton Oilers tweeted. "Although small in stature, Ben's impact on our team & community were massive."
  • One of two mobile mammogram clinics run by Alberta Health Services is making a two-day stop at Enoch Cree Nation to give women who live there a chance to be screened for breast cancer. "(We) want to provide every opportunity for better health for our Indigenous communities," said Dr. Tracey Hillier, U of A radiologist and member of the Qalipu First Nation in Newfoundland, who added that a history of trauma, discomfort, or language barriers could keep Indigenous women away from bigger hospitals. Colleen McDonald with Enoch Health Services said mobile clinics provide "a safe and ethical space" and have resulted in more women arriving for screening appointments.
  • The University of Alberta has demolished the near-century-old dairy barn at the south campus, to be replaced by tennis courts. Former historian laureate Marlena Wyman criticized the decision; the university says the barn was not a designated historical building and doesn't meet its teaching and research needs.
  • West Edmonton Mall is looking for name suggestions for a recently born sea lion pup, which CTV News reports is vocal, energetic, playful, and now learning how to dive. Suggestions can be made on the mall's Facebook post, and whoever suggests the winning name will win a one-year pass for all WEM attractions.